Designer fashion brand Gucci is taking steps towards a more sustainable future as it revealed it plans to ditch seasonal fashion.
During a virtual press conference from his Rome studio this week, creative director Alessandro Michele announced that Gucci will limit its fashion shows from five per year to just two, exhibiting in spring and autumn.
Rebuking previous spring/summer, autumn/winter definitions, Michele said “clothes should have a longer life than which these words attribute to them.
“Two appointments a year are more than enough to give time to form a creative thought, and to give more time to this system.”
The announcement follows a string of diary-like posts on Instagram expressing regret at previous over consumption and lack of sustainability.
It stated: “Above all, we understand we have gone too far. We conceived of ourselves as separate from nature, we felt cunning and almighty. We usurped nature, we dominated it and wounded it.
“So much haughtiness made us lose our sisterhood with the butterflies, the flowers, the trees and the roots. So much outrageous greed made us lose the harmony and the care, the connection and the belonging.”
This comes as more and more consumers seek ways to shop sustainably. Research by the Fashion Retail Academy showed that the number of consumers who actively embrace fast fashion has dropped by 46.2% in the past year, and more people are choosing to buy long-lasting clothes over fashionable items.
Michele added: “As for me, in my own small way, I feel the urgent need to change a lot of things in the way I work.
“That is why I have decided to build a new path, away from deadlines that the industry consolidated and, above all, away from an excessive performativity that today really has no raison d’être.”
Gucci’s Instagram post highlighted the brand’s decision not to feature a new collection at Milan Fashion Week in 2020. The September event traditionally plays host to Gucci’s newest collection; however, after deeming seasonal clothing “stale and underfed”, there are no plans for that to happen this year.
Gucci is the most significant designer brand to take steps towards a more sustainable future, with a revenue in 2019 of €9.6bn (£8.8bn), compared to Yves Saint Laurent’s €2bn (£1.79bn). Gucci’s position as one of the most recognisable designer brands could be the catalyst towards a changing fashion system, leading the way for other designers to follow.
Previously, fellow Kering-owned brand Yves Saint Laurent noted that it would soon “take control” of its fashion calendar. Its creative director, Anthony Vaccarello, also said the brand was “conscious of the current circumstances and its waves of radical change”.